Cherokee Nation lobbyist was Black Caucus official
The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has hired the former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus as one of its lobbyists.

Paul Brathwaite is one of five lobbyists from the Podesta Group who are helping the tribe fight legislation proposed by members of the CBC. Rep. Diane Watson (D-California), Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina) and other African-American lawmakers want to cut federal funds to the tribe until the Freedmen, who are the descendants of African slaves, are restored to citizenship.

Cherokee Chief Chad Smith told The Hill newspaper that the tribe hired Podesta for its "ability to get our message out, not necessarily the individuals." But it probably doesn't hurt that Brathwaite served under Watt when Watt was chairman of the CBC.

The CBC recently hosted a panel on the Cherokee Freedmen. After the event, the tribe sent out a press release that never mentioned the CBC connection -- only that the panel took place in "Washington, D.C."

Get the Story:
Under fire, Cherokees hire CBC’s former director in lobbying push (The Hill 10/17)

Cherokee-Related Legislation:
H.R.2786 | H.R.2895 | H.R.2824 | H.R.3002

BIA Letters:
August 9, 2007 | July 11, 2007 | June 22, 2007 | May 21, 2007 | March 28, 2007 | August 30, 2006

Sovereign Immunity Court Decision:
Vann v. Kempthorne (December 19, 2006)

Cherokee Nation Judicial Appeals Tribunal Decision in Freedmen Case:
Allen v. Cherokee Nation (March 7, 2006)

Relevant Links:
Cherokee Nation - http://www.cherokee.org
Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes - http://www.freedmen5tribes.com
Freedmen Conference - http://www.freedmenconference.com
Congressional Black Caucus, Annual Leadership Conference - http://www.alc2007.com

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